That's strange, part 3 and 4 of my story have been removed
How is this possible ?
That's strange, part 3 and 4 of my story have been removed
How is this possible ?
Sorry, that was a database error, and we made a backup... My apologizes about that, in future we will prevent from that...
my Skype: warrelics
Ok, now let's do it once again :
Who were the people who joined the Georgian Legion ?
We can say that it were three categories of people:
A. The old emigration (people who fled Georgia after the communists took over the power in 1921). This was the smallest group, mostly intelligentia and officers. Their numeber was about 10% of the people who formed the Legion.
B. The Georgians serving in the Soviet Army who became POW in 1941 and 1942. That was the biggest part of the Legion, they made 70% out of the whole.
C. The Georgian Soviet soldiers who defeated the Soviet Army, with the purpose to join the Legions. That was also a small but more motivated group of Legionnaires. Those people lost family and friends during the 20 yeras of the Communist regime in Georgia and hated the Soviet system. Their number can be estimated around 20% .
Let us take a closer look at the biggest group (B), the POWs. Why they decided to join the Legion ? What was their situation while being POWs of the Germans ?
German forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, in the biggest military operation the world had ever seen. The Soviet armies had been decimated by the prewar purges in their ranks, and they crumbled in the face of the Nazi onslaught. In the first few months of the war, the Nazis rounded up Soviet conscript troops in a series of huge encirclements around Minsk, Smolensk, Bryansk, and Kiev.
In a mere eight months of 1941-42, the invading German armies killed an estimated 2.8 million Soviet prisoners-of-war through starvation, exposure, and summary execution. This little-known gendercide vies with the as the most concentrated mass killing in human history.
By the time the brutal Russian winter descended, millions of Soviet POWs were dying in captivity, penned behind barbed wire with no protection from the elements, being executed en masse by the German Army, or being transported to Germany for extermination by the hundreds of thousands.
Nazi crimes against Soviet POWs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The young Soviet men who fell into German hands during these terrible years could expect treatment even more barbaric than the historical standard. As Slavs, they were considered "Untermenschen" -- subhumans -- by the Germans. As far as Nazi forces were concerned, the laws of war did not apply.
Epidemics decimated the camps. Beatings and abuse by the guards were commonplace. Millions spent weeks without food or shelter. Carloads of prisoners were dead when they arrived at their destination. Casualty figures varied considerably but almost nowhere amounted to less than 30 percent in the winter of 1941-42, and sometimes went as high as 95 per cent.
Many of the captured Soviet men were forced to walk "hundreds of kilometers" to their designated places of detention. Colonel Erwin Lahousen, a German foreign intelligence officer, wrote in October 1941 that "The columns of [Soviet] prisoners of war moving on the roads make an idiotic impression like herds of animals. The guard details ... can only maintain some semblance of order ... by using physical force. Because of the physical exertion of the marches, the meager diet and poor conditions in the quarters in individual camps, prisoners of war often break down, are then carried by their fellow- or are left lying. The 6th Army has given orders that all prisoners of war who break down are to be executed. Unfortunately, this is done on the road, even in towns ..." Conditions in the prison camps themselves were similarly atrocious. "There were no barracks or permanent housing. The camps were simply open areas fenced off with barbed wire. The prisoners had to lie in the sun, then in mud, and in the fall -- with temperatures as low as minus 30 degreees centigrade -- faced the possibility of freezing to death." A Hungarian tank officer who visited one enclosure described it as follows: "Behind wire there were tens of thousands of Soviet prisoners. Many were on the point of expiring. Few could stand on their feet. Their faces were dried up and their eyes sunk deep into their sockets. Hundreds were dying every day, and those who had any strength left dumped them in a vast pit. Cannibalism was rife, and deliberate. In his epic masterpiece The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn describes the scene in one POW camp, with "the evening mist hoverng above a swampy meadow encircled by barbed wire; a multitude of bonfires; and, around the bonfires, beings who had once been Russian officers but had now become beastlike creatures who gnawed the bones of dead horses, who baked patties from potato rinds, who smoked manure and were all swarming with lice. Not all these two-legged creatures had died as yet. Not all of them had lost the capacity for intelligible speech, and one could see in the crimson reflections of the bonfires how a belated understanding was dawning on those faces which were descending to the Neanderthal." (Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago , p. 218.)
Mass death through starvation was anticipated well in advance by Nazi military planners. "Daily rations amounted to only one-fourth of what a normal person needed to survive. These meager rations resulted from the decision reached before the campaign, i.e. that providing food for the Wehrmacht and for Germany had the highest priority. 'As a result, millions of people will surely starve,' was the terse conclusion formulated at a conference of German State Secretaries in Berlin in May 1941."
Among the millions of Soviet POWs of all the nations that lived in the USSR there were thousends of
Georgians. As soon as it became known in what kind of terrible conditions they were held by the Germans, the Georgian diaspora started making efforts to help them out. In the beginning some were saved by the intervention of Alexander Nikuradze, Michael Achmeteli, and other Georgian scholars who were held in high esteem in Germany.
A chance to save more people from certain death, starvation, disease, forced labor and brutality in POW camps was the forming of the Georgian Legion. Several politicians an officers started visiting the POW camps and “recruiting” Georgians for the Legion. Many of the “volunteers” hated the Nazis for the lost of their comrades and all what they have seen during the captivity, but they had too try to save their lives... Some of them refused – paying the highest toll (beeing executed at the spot or beeing send to concetration camps like Auschwitz). Others only joined the Legion with the thought to get some weapons and to join the resistance as soon as possible ( thousends of them ended up in the Soviet, Polish, French and other partisan groups ) and to take revange on the Nazis for all what they did to them...
Those POWs who suffered more from the Stalinist repressions as from the Nazis, really wanted to fight the Soviets. But as the time turned they saw that the Germans only used them for their own purpose ...and not for a independent Georgia.
In part 4 we will see how the Legion was formed.
The formation of the Georgische Legion started at the end of 1941, in Kruszyna (Truppenubungsplatz Mitte) near Radom in Poland (see photo). There were stationed/trained around 12.000 Georgian soldiers (+ 3000 German staff personell) in about 10 to 13 battalions :
* 795 Battalion "Shalva Maglakelidze"
Fighting: 1942 in North Ossetia, 1943 in France
* 796 Battalion.
Fighting: 1942/43 in Tuapse, North Caucasus
* 797 Battalion "Giorgi Saakadze"
Fighting: 1943/44 in France
* 798 Battalion"King Erekle II Bagrationi"
Fighting: 1943/44 in France
* 799 Battalion "King David Bagrationi-Aghmashenebeli"
Fighting: 1943/44 in France
* 822 Battalion "Queen Tamar"
Fighting: 1943/44/45 in France and on Texel
* 823 Battalion "Shota Rustaveli"
* 824 Battalion "Ilia Chavchavadze"
Fighting: 1944 in Lviv, was then part of Poland.
The Legion commander was Schalwa Maglakelidze. In 1941 he created the order of the Queen Tamar of the Georgian Legion (Such order was created by the Committee of Independence of Georgia in 1914-1918). In 1944, Maglakelidze was promoted major general of Wehrmacht. After the WW2 he lived and worked in West Germany. In 1949-1954, he was a military advisor to Konrad Adenauer. On January 26, 1954 he founded the organization "Unity of Georgian Soldiers Abroad" in Munich. In August, 1954 Maglakelidze was kidnapped by the Soviet KGB agents..
* SS Waffengruppe "Georgien" was formed on December 11, 1944 and commanded by Waffen- Standartenfuhrer der SS Michail Pridon Tsulukidze and his deputy Major (Waffen-Sturmbannführer) Dmitri Shalikashvili.
Here we can find some nice picks :
Georgische Legion in Wehrmacht 1942-1945 : Units and Photos : Waffen SS
Now let us talk about the famous 822nd Battailon :
After the training at Kruszyna the Battalion was sent into the Kielce-Radom area with the purpose to fight the Polish resistance... That wasn’t such an great succes. Some of the Legionnares joined the partisans
instead of fighting them. A large group left the Battalion and joined the local (Armia Krajowa) Home Army Group “Ponury”. In this partisan group there was a special combat group with only Caucasian ex“ volunteers” (mostly Georgians) in it. Their commander was a Georgian officer with the nickname “Kazbek” (real name unknown).
After the “Polish episode” the Battalion was sent to Western Europe ( far away from, what the Germans called “Bolshevist propaganda” ). Some sources mention that the 882nd was sent then to France, but in September of that year they were all ready in the Netherlands, at the bunker complex in Zandvoort and a smaller group near Beverwijk (see photo). At this time the Battalion existed out of 7companies, in which only two were led by Georgian officers :
Battalions commander was captain Klaus Breitner (this person was all ready in 1942 engaged in the forming of the Legion in Kruszyna).
The laission officer was a Georgian officer called Basili Indshia ( before the war he was an Polish Army officer, in 1939 he was captured by the Germans). The company commanders were :
1 company : Krieger
2 company : Tocha
3 company : Klein
4 company : Rothert
5 company : Loladze
6 company : Kovan
7 company : Congladze
During their stay in Zandvoort the Georgians made contact with the Dutch resistance and with the Allied forces in England. All ready then they had plans for a uprising, but the Allied forces told them to wait at the right time, then they would get a signal after which they should attack their German “comrades” .
Before that happened the battalion was sent in the begin of 1945 to the isle of Texel.
Just like in Zandvoort some contact have been made with the local resistance.
Even more than only contacts, the Georgians had no more time to loose as the end of the war was approaching and they informed the Dutch resistance that there would be an uprising which the Dutch could join. The Dutch didn’t like this idea because the Germans had all most lost the war and that there was no need for another senseless bloodshed on Texel.
The Georgians instead understood that they have to do something, otherwise they would be seen as collaborators and traitors. They thought that if they would fight the Germans then Stalin would “forgive their collaboration with the Nazis”, or otherwise the Allies would let them stay in the West until the start of WWIII against the USSR (millions of East European people thought like this). The only thing they didn’t know was the fact that in accordance with inter-allied agreements, all Soviet citizens were to be repatriated, by force if necessary, to the Soviet Union. The Soviets treated all those people as traitors. They were punished upon their return, with many exiled to Siberia or Central Asia. The same happened to hundreds of thousands of those Soviet citizens who joined the Polish Home Army, liberated POWs and Soviet labour workers from Germany...
So on the 6th of April 1945 the 822nd started their uprising…hoping that a wonder will happen.
In part 5 we will take a look at some mysteries around the uprising and the “repatriation”, that still are not cleared …
P. S. Stalin even didn’t forgive his own son for his surrender to the Germans.
Yakov Dzhugashvili - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Like I said before, very interesting information and thanks for taking the effort to share it with us. Do you have interest in Ost Freiwilliger in general or only in the Georgians?. Because in the same period of time the Georgians revolted on Texel, for example, the 803th Caucasian Battalion fought bravely against the Canadians on the Veluwe (a wooded area in the “middle” of Holland), especially in the Battle of Otterlo in an attempt to clear the road towards Festung Holland, could you provide us with information regarding this event?.
I'm interested in the fate of all Caucasian "Freiwillige".
I will check my archive for the 803th, if there will be something about the Battle of Otterloo than I will let You know. What I know is the fact that this battallion was deployed on Texel before the Georgians came there.
Back to the Georgians. Before we start with part 5 I would like to show some interesting paintings that the 822nd Battalion left in the bunkers of Zandvoort.
Take a look on this site too :
Last edited by kindzjal; 07-31-2008 at 11:42 PM.
A. Now we are 60 years later but still there are several questions and mysteries around the Texel Uprising. The most important and interesting thing is the question what happened with the Georgians after the war. Especially after their repatriation to the USSR ?
Let’s take a look what we know about this happening. The surviving Georgians asked (unsuccessfully) for permission to stay in Holland. In the end, they refused to leave Texel unless the Canadians agreed to speak to the Soviet authorities. Lt. Colonel Lord Tweedsmuir, wrote directly to the Soviet High Command. He praised the Georgians as valiant Soviet allies whose rebellion had resulted in over 2300 German casualties. He also requested that the Red Army receive the Georgians as heroes and that they be immediately rehabilitated. He accompanied the Georgians to Wilhelmshaven and spoke on their behalf to Soviet Liasion Officers in that city. So in the end the Georgians were transferred to the USSR (through Wilhelmshaven-Sczecin-Baku; see photo), they were handed over in the company of North Caucasians and were underway almost shot by Soviet guards. But it seems that they haven’t been punished like other “volunteers”. Even more than not punished, in 1946, the Soviet daily 'Pravda' praised the Texel Georgians as “Soviet patriots” and as rebelling 'POWs' who had liberated Texel... In 1953, the Soviet authorities strengthened the 'POWs liberation myth by making a propaganda movie, (“The Crucified Island”), about the Uprising (some Texel Georgians were even actors in this movie) the movie claimed that, the Texel Georgians were prisoners of war who broke out of their camp and freed the island from the Nazis…
Did the Lords Tweedsmuir letter save their lives ? Or did Stalin spare them for only propaganda purposes ? And were all of them praised as “Soviet patriots” or just some, while the others were punished ???
B. As we know the Uprising and Partisan Campaign on Texel began on 6 April 1945. The Georgians withdrew from fixed positions on 21 - 23 April and they were still fighting, as partisans (see photo), when the Canadians arrived on 20 May 1945. On the third night of the Mutiny ten Dutchmen stole the Texel lifeboat, 'the 'Joan Hodshon', and sailed to Mundesley in Norfolk, England. With them were 4 Georgians. Their mission was to deliver letters:
One to Allied commanders in London, seeking military help and supplies for the mutineers and bombardments of Texel's two coastal batteries, and
Another one to the Soviet Ambassador pledging the 822nd Georgia Battalion's continued loyalty to the Red Army and the USSR and requesting the Soviet Government to urge Allied support for the Mutiny. The mission failed. The Allies sent only a single reconnaissance aircraft !
So here we have another question: why did the Allied Forces not help the Georgians during the Uprising and why did the Canadians wait so long with their arrival on Texel (almost two weeks after the end of the War !) ???
C. During the Uprising several war crimes have been committed by the Germans. The uprising enraged the 822nd battalions commandant, Klaus Breitner. He sent a Sondermeldung to the Hitler Bunker, with the question if he could shoot all captured “mutineers”. The answer was positive ! So captured Georgians were forced to dig their own graves then executed. Many wounded were immediately shot. German forces killed ten Dutch hostages without trial and many others were executed for helping Georgians across the island. There are also rumors about a massacre of Georgian prisoners tied together in a group(s) of 4-5 and killed by grenades jammed between them !
A war crimes trial at Oldenburg in 1972 found no case against the German officers responsible for the hostage shootings and other executions. The German commander on Texel, Erich Neumann, walked free. In my eyes, a pretty “controversial” decision…
I have found two very rare pictures showing Georgian POWs during the "recruitment" ...
Original German military, Cross, Orders, Medals, Badges, WW2 and WW1 militaria
Congratulations with your interesting posts, they are a good read, keep it up...
Groetjes, besten and Christmas greetings to all.
I am Alan Newark, a somewhat well-known researcher - since 1989 - of the 1945 Texel Mutiny and I have over recent past years corresponded with various governments and national archives.
I am extremely impressed with the detail, quality and educational value of the various posts on this thread and would like, with the relevant permissions, to quote excerpts from these posts. I would also like permission to include in my own published Web and other articles about the Mutiny some of the excellent photos shown here.
In saying so I must add that I am sad to see that whereas some of the posts on here clearly refer to - or seem to refer to - and in some instances use almost word-for-word extracts from my 2003 and 2005 copyright forums posts.. no-one has seen fit to credit me for my research and work.
At the ooposite end of this spectrum I cite the Russian Ministry of Defence - sponsored, Moscow -based, magazine 'Military Historical Archive' which in 2005 translated and published the entire, several pages long, text of one of my Texel Mutiny Web essays ( to maintain my interest in securing useful and provable information from ANY source I would be equally pleased to see one of those essays, or an up-dated version, published in a Georgian magazine or newspaper. So far that has not happened).
Granted, some of my own work has naturally been based upon and I routinely give credits for the work of 3 key Dutch authors and, also, on the help of a Georgian author but I have also undertaken much independent research and the final output of my writings remains my own copyright.
I have had to place a similar appeal for credits on another forum and have also written to the webmaster of two sites whereon contributors have posted the entire contents of either of my above Web essays and claimed them as their own work.
I am, like most folk, happy to see others include in posts 'fair usage' quotations from my work..but whether it is a short quote or a longer quote I feel that my efforts should be given proper acknowledgement.
So..if anyone here recognises where they have omitted such acknowledgements I'd view as an ideal Xmas gift their rectifying of that omission.
Finally, having moaned a bit I would now like to appeal for reciprocal research assistance from those on this thread who are in any way able to assist or advise me regarding unfilled gaps in the Texel Mutiny story. I still seek dependable helpers in The Hague, Alkmaar, Ijmuiden and on Texel / in Den Helder. Anyone who can be of help will make me extremely happy.
Thanks for the privilege of seeing such a well-researched and informative thread and for the incredible, new, photos.
Know that information not shared is lost and that together we Mutiny buffs are strong.
Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all.